Wednesday was a good day for stocks, and the Dow Jones Industrials and S&P 500 both climbed through milestone levels. Most market participants attributed the positive sentiment to the Federal Reserve, which released the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting during the afternoon. The central bank revealed plans to clamp down on the size of its balance sheet, which it initially expanded in the aftermath of the financial crisis to provide liquidity to the bond market and additional stimulus to the U.S. economy. Investors were pleased that the Fed believes that it's no longer necessary to extend that level of monetary accommodation to the economy. In addition, some individual companies had extremely good news, and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI), and Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ: PBYI) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
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Abercrombie & Fitch looks at a potential buyout
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch climbed 6% in the wake of reports that the teen retailer might receive an acquisition bid from a consortium of investors. According to The Wall Street Journal(subscription required), industry peer American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) and private equity company Cerberus Capital Management are looking at putting together a potential buyout offer for Abercrombie & Fitch, following speculation that other players in the industry might also be interested in consolidation. A&F has been dealing with takeover speculation for a while, and it has typically noted that any discussions wouldn't necessary translate into actual offers. Yet with Abercrombie set to release its first-quarter financial results Thursday, investors will want to see signs that the company can take care of its challenges on its own -- or else they'll start clamoring more loudly for a buyout to take place.
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Triumph reports earnings, resolves dispute
Triumph Group stock soared over 30% after the company announced its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results and resolved a dispute with aircraft manufacturer Bombardier. The aerospace components and systems specialist said that sales fell 13% from year-ago levels, and it posted a GAAP loss of $126.8 million. With challenges in its aerospace structures business, Triumph has focused on amending contracts and addressing operational and financial challenges, and the company's transformation plan has led to improving free cash flow and cost savings. Investors were also happy that Triumph reached a settlement of all of its disputes with Bombardier. Triumph said that the agreement "resets the commercial relationship between [Triumph] and Bombardier and allows each of them to better achieve their business objectives going forward."
Puma gets a thumbs-up
Finally, shares of Puma Biotechnology jumped 30%. The biopharmaceutical company earned a hoped-for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel looking at its neratinib candidate treatment for breast cancer. The panel voted 12 to 4 in favor of recommending the drug to the FDA, and although panelists expressed some thoughts about potentially limiting the size of the group of women eligible to use the drug, investors nevertheless took the news as a positive. The FDA still needs to make its own decision about Puma's drug, and it isn't bound by the opinion of the advisory panel. Nevertheless, today's recommendation moves Puma one step further to getting a big win under its belt, and shareholders recognized that fact with the second big move in the stock this week.
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